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see you then. >> that was great. >> that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's all yours. >> s.e. cupp, spice up your debate with your special someone. how to flame the embers of your nuptial delight. thank you, s.e. thank you for staying with us. it's tuesday, october 2nd, and voter i.d., sorry, mitt, it's not going to win you pennsylvania. voter i.d., which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> done indeed. >> done. >> we know a judge just threw it out. >> pennsylvania's strict new voter i.d. law cannot go into effect. >> reporter: sorry, mitt, there's now more pressure on you to nail the debate. >> these debates are an opportunity for each of us to describe the pathway forward for america. >> 10,000 bucks. >> zing. >> i'm speaking. i'm speaking. i'm speaking.
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>> time for you -- >> you get 30 seconds. this is the way the rules work here. >> zing. >> you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what -- what our documents are -- >> zing. >> done. >> not familiar with precisely with exactly what i said but i'll stand by what i said whatever it was. it is just five weeks until election day, and the stakes could not be higher. with both candidates hunkered down in last-minute debate preparations. mitt romney is out in the mile high city carb loading at chipotle today. >> how are you doing? >> are you ready for tomorrow? >> hi there. getting there. how are you? >> getting there. just giving him another six
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years. indeed, you know what mitt romney's been working hard, maybe fighting for a little air when he goes on a nostalgic riff. in this case the rocky mountains are just the right height. >> when avis boy my mom and dad used to read to me from a book called "men to match my mountains." perhaps we should change the title to "men and women to match my mountains" because right here men and women have matched the mountains of colorado. >> he's really working on the zingers. we see what you did there, mitt, adding women into the mix. nice. anything to do with the president's 18-point lead with women putting him four points above romney nationwide? no, i'm sure not. by the way, the same poll shows voters expect 54% to 28% that the president will win the dae bates. the president doesn't seem too worried. delivering pizza to a nevada campaign headquarters and calling volunteers to complain about debate camp. >> basically they're keeping me indoors all the time.
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it's a drag. they're making me do my homework. >> you can't blame the president for playing it cool. after all, he's seen romney in a few previous debate performances. >> will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i will release. >> governor romney, you say you don't want to go and round up people and deport them, but you also say that they would have to go back to their home countries and then apply for citizenship. so if you don't deport them, how do you send them home? >> well, the answer is self-deportation. >> rick, i'm speaking. >> the newspaper -- >> i'm speaking. i'm speaking. you get 30 seconds. >> time for you -- >> this is the way the rules work is i get 60 seconds -- >> but the american people want the truth. >> you get 30 seconds to respond. anderson? >> 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? >> by the way, new polling shows nearly 40% say the debates will be important to their vote. let's get to our panel now.
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dana mill bank, political cl columnist, michael crowley, and here in new york ron christie. dana, if i might start with you. an insightful political observer such as yourself has seen these two gentlemen in many a debate. but if your path to success relies on mitt romney's comic timing, isn't the zinger likely to become something of a boomerang and hit mr. romney instead of his opponent? >> you know, everybody always remembers the great zingers. you know, usually something from ronald reagan, but here we go again expecting that people are going to try a little bit too hard. there's a real danger when you've been supplied with premixed, ready-made zingers to insert into the debate that mitt romney will insert them at the wrong time or say them not quite right. the only thing worse than having no zinger is having a zinger that comes off badly and comes
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back to bite you. so i think that's a perilous way to go, but i'll be there in denver, and i look forward to the attempts because it will make it far more interesting. >> indeed. we're delighted, ron, that you're here. you have devealed to us for the first time that you have prepped with mitt romney previously. >> i have. >> tell us a little bit about that. >> well, it was a remarkable experience. it was the 2008 campaign when he was running in the primaries. he assembled a smart group of folks to go up and run him through the paces. that was in anticipation of the first debate on msnbc mott rated by chris matthews. each person had a role, i was the one who had to play the role of chris matthews and others up there -- which no one can play chris matthews. >> particularly someone with your complexion. but keep going. >> we have a lot in common. but the interesting thing is you have people up there representing the different candidates, and you get to see the candidate behind the scenes prepping, and what they do is you run them through the paces. you have the timing just the way it would be on the stage with the moderator just where they
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would be sitting. you run them through a series of questions and answers and you see how they do and you critique afterwards. >> is the conclusion though it wasn't very effective because, of course, mr. romney didn't do so well in 2008, did he? >> i don't think it was his debate preparation that was the problem. i think it was a whole variety of issues, of course, but that's why he's ready this time and, of course, you see the gentleman who is going to be playing president obama who has been getting him ready is ohio senator rob portman. a very smart guy who has a lot of experience in debate preparation. >> here is the problem in terms of the preparation. given that mr. romney and mr. ryan have given no details but have given a promise that they're going to reduce taxes by 20%, how does mitt romney deal with that tomorrow? what does he actually say that he has previously refused to say on explaining that? >> well, i think it's fascinating that they're treating mitt romney like he's the president and a lot in the media treat president obama like he's the challenger. what president george w. bush did when he was governor of texas is said i want to reduce
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taxes across the board and i want to make sure we have a balanced budget. he wasn't very specific during the campaign, and when he became president, he released a series of principles that went to capitol hill that said these are the measures that meet my -- >> here is the problem with that though, ron. people who have assessed his mathematics have deemed them to be completely impossible. michael, this is just in from mitt romney on how he'll pay for his massive 20% across the board tax cut. take a listen. >> everybody is going to get up to a $17,000 deduction and you can use your charitable deduction or your home mortgage deduction or others, health care deduction, and you can full that $17,000 bucket and higher income people might have a lower number. or you could do it by the same method that boll/simpson did by limiting deductions. >> it's bucket and spades and he'll work it out with congress.
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is that a plausible response? >> i don't think so. i would have to hear the entirety of what he was saying -- >> that was the entirety. >> i was giving him sop benefit of the doubt. as i understand it the math just doesn't add up. he can say they're going to cap deductions but this tax policy center study, which i think has held up pretty well and even when they did it under economic growth assumptions that are favorable to romney, so let's assume some of the things romney is claiming that people are disputing about the effect the plan would have, let's assume they're true, let's say you can't do everything he wants to do without increasing the deficit and without increasing taxes on the middle class. what i think we will see is because i don't think there's a good answer to this conundrum he's in mathematically, he will kind of confuse the issue. he will talk in specifics that don't necessarily make sense. so as a political strategy, you want to sound specific and say, here, i'm talking about some detailed numbers, and people say that sounds like a pretty detailed plan, he's thought it
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through. martin, based on what i heard there, there's not an answer to the mathematical possibility of his plan working. the last thing i think he will do is just attack the study, attack the president's premise. >> of course. >> there's no fact checker on stage. you say that study has all kinds of problems. i think it's a pretty good study but i think that's how he will get out of it. >> dana, isn't there is problem that mr. romney's economic adviser has already suggested that if he cannot make the 20% tax cut payable by using deductions, well, then they may have to shift the 20% figure. so, again, even on the figure itself it seems pliable and moveable. again, it's very, very frustrating to try and pin any of this down. >> well, i guess that's why governor romney has not been more specific and that's because he has no idea how he would actually do this in the first place. if there were a way to do this, you can be sure yhe'd be out
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there saying it. all along romney has been getting pummeled for not having the specifics. yes, he can have all the zingers he wants. he can say whatever has been wrong, there's a good substantive case to be made against president obama, but he's never presented anything in the way of a detailed alternative that people can get their arms around. even at a paul ryan event this morning, a woman, a supporter got up in the crowd and said where are the details, what are you guys actually going to do? forget about his opponents' demanding it, his supporters are demanding it, saying give us something to vote for. >> ron, being perfectly hoppest, and you have already disclosed you helped prepare governor romney in 2008, are you not disappointed that he hasn't been more specific and more detailed, honestly? >> no, honestly i'm not. >> you're not? >> i'm not dispointed. it's about a vision for the kukt. if you want to talk about specifics, look at what president obama said. >> talk about mr. romney. if you're going to talk about the president, we will have to close the discussion now, but if
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you're -- >> this is a martin game here, of course. let's not beat up on the president -- >> we're just talking about mr. romney. >> the fact of the matter is what i said at the outseth still stands. i think it's about a vision of where you want to take the country and how you want to move forward. as it relates to his tax plan, he has said very clearly that, a, he wants to cut certain tax loopholes, b, he wants to keep the bush era tax cut rates in place, and c, we need to make sure we can work with congress in a bipartisan fashion to get it done. i think that's very fair, i think it's a question that will be asked of him tomorrow by jim lehrer. >> it's also been deemed as mathematically impossible. thank you. as the candidates gear up, we are headed to denver. we will broadcast live from the university of denver, so be sure to tune in tomorrow, 4:00 p.m. eastern. next, the 47 and bain. sure to take center stage tomorrow. stay with us.
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>> you haven't given me the math. >> but, well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too lock to go through all the math. >> great answer. why? it's a great answer. why is it a great answer? well, it would take me too long to explain, but trust me, it was a great answer. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62%
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between mitt romney's tax returns, his time at bain capital, and his comments on the 47%, there are plenty of land mines for him to negotiate as he approaches the first presidential debate.
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so the one thing he doesn't need, the one thing he can do without, is for his running mate to keep talking about these aspects of his biography just a day before mitt's big night. >> is there anyway possible that this 47% can pay a nominal fee or something so they feel that they have small ownership in the government and maybe they won't take all the handouts so readily? >> i got an idea. let's help them get jobs so they can get a good paycheck so thaen they're good taxpayers. >> well done, mr. ryan. joining us from washington, julian epstein, who is a democratic strategist, and ken vogel, chief investigative reporter for polpolitico. paul ryan has conceded that mitt romney's 47% comments were inarticulate. they seem to acknowledge that the 47%, largely the elderly, working poor, veterans, but now ryan sounds as if he agrees with mitt. which is it? >> that's right. you could imagine john mccain in 2008 saying, wait a second, that
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47% is made up of veterans who have paid their debt to society with blood literally. it's made up of mostly working people, most of that 47% are working americans, working middle class, working poor. >> hard working who earn less than $30,000 a year. >> or even $40,000 or $50,000 and many of those -- many of that 47% is made up of seniors. you know, this network is going to have a new poll later today that's going to show the race tightening and the national numbers but not in the battleground states i think. one of the big reasons for that, one of the big underreported reasons for that is how the romney/ryan ticket has offended seniors. we've talked about how this ticket offended women, african-americans, hispanics. the big story is how they have offended seniors and how seniors have gone from the romney/ryan camp into the obama camp largely i think because of the ryan plan on medicare, and so that -- the 47% was poorly answered by ryan, but an equal weight around this
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campaign's neck is that medicare plan which is turning off seniors in the droves. >> thanks for breaching our embargo, julian. ken, "the new york times" has a detailed look at the tax avoidance strategies employed via bain. here is a quote, while hardly a novel concept and not unique to bain, the inevitable result is that elite investors like mr. romney are able to increase their fortunes in ways unavoidable to most taxpayers. i have to ask you, ken, did it ever make political sense for mitt romney to promise a 20% tax cut across the board when he knows that people with incomes like his are the ones who will derive the greatest benefit? talk about being a self-serving politician. >> well, i don't know how much the self-serving calculation played -- >> on the basis of 20%, he's going to derive the vast amount of benefit. >> and that's the argument that democrats have been making more generally, which is that his tax
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policies, his economic policies across the board, would be of greater benefit to the wealthy than they would be to the middle class. and that's something that he struggled with and it's particularly troublesome for him and for his campaign because of his personal wealth, because of stories like this, and i think we will see president obama in the debate hit him on not just the 47%, but some of the offshore stuff, and some of it is a problem of his own making. his greateth strength, the thing he's tried to emphasize most in his political biography, his business experience, is also his weakness. the thing he has chosen to go on president obama on, being soft on china, is something in his own personal finances there's evidence that -- of an inconsistency there. so it's really a fundamental hurdle for the romney campaign and stories like this only make it that much harder. >> now, julian, to ken's point, the president's team has a new ad hammering bain and mitt specifically. it accuses bain of promoting
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investments in chinese companies where workers labored under sweat shop conditions. bain is just the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it? >> that's right. mitt romney has shown us that the 47% can actually be the 1% -- or rather the 1% can be the 47%. when you look at how he has been able to shelter tens of millions of dollars in income, he probably has an interest right now in 12 different entities that are worth somewhere in the range of $30 million in cayman islands and other overseas -- >> bermuda, switzerland. >> and elsewhere. and you look at why these things are ripping taxpayers off to the tune of about $100 billion a year. it's because the rules on passive income like dividend and interest are different. the rules on deductions are totally different. the rules on unrelated business expenses where he has a lot -- some people say between somewhere between $30 million and $100 million in his i.r.a. which has shelters from taxes and you have to use qis, qualified intervenors for the irs. the irs can't even get basic
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information about the investment. you have all these questions about how did he have $3 million in foreign income in the year 2009 and paid i believe it was 2009, and paid virtually no tacks between zero and $54,000 taxes. bain is the gift that keeps on giving. not only were there investments in chinese companies, there were investments that romney was involved in with chinese companies that were doing a lot of business with iran while he's criticizing the president for not being too tough on iran. >> a brilliant businessman. >> this is like sarah palin with a paper trail. >> julian epstein, and ken vogel, thanks so much. next, why the keystone state may now finally lock mitt romney out. stay with us. >> did folks tell you when i tried this in florida there was one woman who wouldn't believe it was me. she sort of hung up on me.
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hi, donna? hi, this is barack obama. how are you? final for the "your business" entrepreneur evident week. andrew rosenwalk is the fourth generation owner of rosenwalk tanks. they are shaped by hand with half century old tools. he said you don't throw out what works. you just build upon it. for more watch "your business" this sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc.
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so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, owens corning ecotouch attik insulation is only $11.87 a roll. a pennsylvania judge has dealt a serious blow to republicans who hoped that a tough voter i.d. law might help them capture the state's 20 electoral college votes. the judge's ruling blocks the law from going into effect this year, but for now does not strike down the law itself. nbc news's justice correspondent pete williams joins us now. pete, good afternoon. what did the judge actually say about why he decided to rule this way? >> reporter: well, let's track what's happened here. the state first passed the law and said if you don't have a dlls, you need a government i.d. if you don't have the driver's license, then you could get the nondriver's state issued i.d. and then the state said, wait a
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minute, that's a secure form of i.d., so if you want that you're going to have to have a certificate, birth certificate with a raised seal and three other forms of identification. well, that was a problem. so then the state said, okay, here is what we're going to do. we'll issue a new form of i.d. that's good only for voting, and they started to do that, but they said you could only get that if you couldn't qualify for the other forms. then they changed their mind on that. so what the judge finally said is, i think the state now has it about right, that it's easy to get this new form of i.d., but the problem, he says, is, number one, i can't be sure that there won't be more hurdles like those that have already popped up, and, number two, there just isn't enough time in order to get everybody who needs an i.d. one by election day, and so, martin, he concluded today that this is the way he put, it i'm still not convinced that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of this new i.d. law, so, therefore, he's putting a hold on it for this election. mostly a hold on it. here is an interesting point,
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martin. what the ruling means is that poll workers can ask voters in pennsylvania for a photo i.d., but if the voters don't have one, they get to vote anyway. the judge stopped short of declaring the law unconstitutional, so the only question after the election is not going to go into effect for the election, the question is will he allow it to go into effect for the future. >> pete williams, making sense out of chaos. thanks so much, pete. >> okay. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. by bright eyes
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you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. from debate zingers of yore to debate cram sessions tonight. here are today's "top lines." no sleep until denver. >> presidential debate. >> there you go again. >> senator, you're no jack kennedy.
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>> who am i? >> senator mitt romney. >> why am i here? >> this is mitt's first time. >> who is going to have the bess zingers? >> i think i got some pretty good zingers. >> best zingers are the ones you practice for two months. >> i'm not a student in your classroom. please let me respond, okay? >> thursday morning the entire narrative of this race is going to change. >> what are you doing, christie? if romney fails to meet those heady expectations that's going to leave open -- >> if he hits too hard, you were mean to the president. >> his tendency is to be too much of a gentleman. >> americans will on balloting day. >> this is the mitt romney i know. >> that's what she said. >> the book called "men to match my mountaininsmountains." >> a lot of people have never seen mitt romney before. gee has to come across as a regular guy which i'm not sure he can do. >> i'm going to take the burrito bowl. >> this good man was attacked by the liberal hacks other at fox
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news. >> you haven't given me the math. >> it would take me too long. >> paul ryan is driving up in a black windowless van and saying get in, don't ask where we're going. ♪ >> the hand needs to dance around. >> wallace wouldn't take no answer for an answer. >> how do you get under the skin of the other guy? >> you're likable enough. >> thanks. >> do you know who voted for it? that one. >> i'm speaking. i'm speaking. >> 10,000 bucks. people want to know who is going to win? who is going to score the punches. >> it's a drag. they're making me do my homework. >>. >> right now they're drilling him on basic grammar skills. >> romney's people are just hoping he remains upright. >> let's get to our panel. we're joining by a laughing krystal ball and joy reid. joy, there's a new poll which shows the president enjoys an 18-point advantage over mitt romney among women, but i guess that's another dirty trook trick
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by the liberal media. >> can we show the unskewed version of that poll? >> even at 18%. >> i think the problem for mitt romney, it isn't women's issues, it's also medicare. more women than men are concerned about taking care of their parents, and i think just the overall gamut of issues sort of favor the president with women, and i'll tell what you, mitt romney could only overcome a gap like that with women if he had a comparable gap among seniors. i think when you combine the gender gap with now the shrinking age gap, problems for romney. >> okay. well, krystal, to joy's point, mr. romney is increasingly relied upon his wife to connect to women. take a listen. here she is. >> this is the mitt romney i know, and let me tell you about what a fantastic guy he is. >> i love you women. >> should you not be questioned about your finances? >> we have been very transparent
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to what's legally required of us, but the more we release, the more we get attacked. >> there you go, krystal. she's obviously convinced you, she loves you, she used her hands effectively. >> she changed my mind. >> a done deal. >> a done deal. kind of reminds me when hillary clinton lost in 2008 and the thinking behind putting sarah palin on the ticket for john mccain was that she was going to get all the women voters who had been so excited about hillary. well, women voters weren't excited about hillary because she's a woman. they were excited because of her platform and her vision for the country. that's the same deal here and as joy is pointing out, it's not just women's issues, quote, unquote, it's the whole gamut. it's that the president's view for the country and his vision for the country more accords to more women's views. the other thing i would say here is that romney is really tainted by the fact that he is in the party of daryl isa, rush
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limbaugh. >> bob mcdone nold. >> todd akin. you have all these guys wearing the republican brand and mitt romney is associated with them. >> joy, republicans are having a hard time appealing to women voters because they don't like their outreach or because women don't like their policies. which of those is it? >> the problem is there really hasn't been any outreach. what's been stunning about the romney campaign is the extent to which they have decided not to really try to reach out to these groups they're doing poorly with on the basis of issues. mitt romney has had several opportunities to stand up and sort of lead his party and say, you know what? todd akin, you're wrong. that's not what our party stands for. >> calling sandra fluke a slut. you're wrong. >> stand up to rush limbaugh, we're not going to talk about women in a party i'm the leader of. he's so weak in terms of standing up to the loud and extreme voices he hasn't given himself an opportunity. all he's doing a dangling his wife out there and saying, hey, she's a woman, she likes me.
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>> krystal, isn't it the case when you look at the list of things republicans are advocating, we're talking about defunding planned parenthood. >> yeah. >> overturning roe v. wade, opposition to the lily ledbetter fair pay act. it's not surprising that the gap is 18%. i mean, if you're a woman and you like those kinds of policies, good luck. >> this goes way beyond out of touch. this is like from three centuries ago kind of policies, and that is the sense, that they're in such an extreme place on issues like the funding of planned parenthood, on issues even of contraception that women are going why are you even talking about this? why is this even up for debate in this day and age? this does not appeal to us. >> can i ask you both for your reactions to that interaction that we showed earlier between mr. brown and miss elizabeth warren? >> na is sort of textbook how not to run against a female candidate. remember when rick lazio when he ran against hillary clinton and the way he was aggressive and sort of came off like a jerk.
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the difficulty in debating a woman, it came up debating sarah palin, is that there's a way you handle debating a woman on television so you don't want to look like the heavy and you definitely don't want to look like you're condescending to her or talking down to her. i think scott brown did himself a world of harm in the way he came across. >> because scott brown has always been regarded as a likable chap. you might not like his policies but he's had an affect which people have found warm and personalable. >> i think in this debate and the previous debate he's ruined that image for himself. he's been seen as sort of like a bully. he keeps going after her on this native american question, just over and over again. his campaign is almost centered on it. even when they asked him a question, a sort of fluffy question about the red sox, he had to attack elizabeth warren because she was wrong about the number of games that she predicted they would won this season. it's just relentless. he can't get over the fact that he personally dislikes her, and it comes through. he looks like a bully. >> and with regard to tomorrow, how does mitt romney, given the
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policy that is he himself has espoused and articulated, how does he warm up women towards him? how does he do that? >> i think the difficulty for mitt romney is the same one he's had all along because he always has at his right flank that part of the party that wants to be aggressive and that wants to be a bully and that sees that as a positive image, right? he always has to have them in his -- on his side. so i think he's afraid of walking too far away from them. he doesn't want to do the etch-a-sketch. it's going to be difficult. you are debating a sit president. you have to come across respectful -- >> a sitting president who, by the way, whose first legislative achievement was to equalize pay for women. >> which the romney campaign at first didn't know how to respond to questions of whether mitt romney would have supported that or not, and i think that clip that you played of ann romney saying i love women is so illustrative because the romney campaign wants to just assert, we're for women without having any sort of specifics to back it up, any sort of policies that would show that they would help women, that they would be
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sensitive to these issues. so you can't just come out and say, i love women. you have to back it up and show what the you're going to do for the american people that makes sense. i personally don't think that there's anything he could do at this point to truly close that gap. >> and he better not point and say stop it, because that doesn't work either. >> joy reid and crist yal ball, as always, brilliant women. wonderful. tomorrow we are taking the show on the road with the ktz broadcasting live from the university of denver, site of the first of three presidential debates. our special coverage begins at 4:00 followed by chris matthews, of course, and "hardball" at 5:00. next, why are billionaires so angry with the president? stay with us. >> we have the mandates and the moral authority to make things right to run at our country's problems and fix them instead of running away from the problems and blaming other people. >> where are the answers? i mean, why aren't you more specific?
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after a series of banking scandals that brought the global economy to the brink of collapse, there have been few indictments and not a single criminal conviction of a top banking executive tied to the financial collapse. but the federal government has announced that it's now suing jpmorgan chase and its bear stearns unit for what they call a broad patent of midconduct during the housing boom. that's likely to further offend the managers who once supported the president but are now mortified because he's had the temerity to call them to account. thomas frank is a columnist with harper's magazine and the author of "pity the billionaire." great to have you. are these billionaires as pitiful as they appear. the president passed dodd frank,
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the stock market is more than doubled since 2008. and yet they hate him because why? >> that's a really good question, martin, but first we should take a step back and establish that they do hate him. not only are they pouring money into mitt romney's campaign, but there's a sort of literary genre out there of like what would you call it, public letters from billionaires denouncing obama. you know, open letters to the president from billionaires. there's a whole bunch of them. i have been going around for the last week or so trying to dig them all up, but they're all denouncing obama -- >> are you referring to that magnificent missive from mr. cooperman who prepared a parallel with the president and hitler? >> exactly. that's just one of them. this is part of an entire genre of billionaires' self-pity. the world is so hard and mean to these guys. and what's really fascinating about this, martin, we go back and look at these letters and
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look at the complaints by the billionaire class, the hedge fund manager class against president obama, it's always about rhetoric. it's always about mean things the president says. they always dug up like one or two -- >> tom, if you're a billionaire, you have a very sensitive spirit. of course you're going to be upset if you've got that amount of money. >> but check it out. these are guys who in other times loved to boast about how competitive they are and how fierce they are in the law of the jungle and all that sort of thing, you know. they're supposed to be so tough, but in politics they deliberately put on this thin skin. the same way -- we've seen this where they have seen this before, sarah palin. remember? the biography of sarah palin is called "the persecution of sarah palin." they have added up every single mean thing anyone anywhere has ever said about her. it's this kind of whining, this kind of complaining that really defines the american right. >> and yet, tom, and this speaks to mitt romney's relationship
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with them, if mitt romney's got all these people in his back pocket and thanks to citizens united he appears to have many of them, why is he trialing so badly in the polls? and why is his campaign so dysfunctional? i mean, he's got the assets of these thin-skinned, albeit brilliant, billionaires, and yet he's not doing so well. >> maybe it is true what the man says, money can't buy you love. this guy may be -- he's a terrible candidate. you know what i mean? the secret to american politics in my lifetime has been feigning a certain kind of populism, pretending to be down with the people and pulling off the act very well, okay? whatever else you say about george w. bush, he was very good at pretending to be the sort of down home, you know, texas guy that you could have a beer with. remember, that was his great act, and ronald reagan before him did the same thing.
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bill clinton, lord knows, that's what it was all about with that guy. and this guy, i mean, can't do it at all. by the way, that's also the magic of the tea party movement. >> can't you imagine having some caviar with mitt romney? bellinis? >> with special spoons you have to eat it with. it can't be silver. it's got to be whatever it is. i'm sure mitt romney can tell you all about it. he just can't switch it on. not only that, this is the republican party and conservatism generally has been coasting on this notion, this sort of populist aura that hoverses around them and he's the opposite, you know. he's -- i was reading this great story in "rolling stone" the other day by matt taibbi about how mitt romney is like all of the terrible movie villains of the last 30 years. you know, he's the rich fraternity boy that's such a snob to the guys in animal
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house, right? you go down the list of movie villains and this is the kind of guy. perfectly, well coifed executives who fire everybody. >> thomas, i'm so grateful to you, but i'm afraid we've run out of time. tom frank, thanks so much. next, the president emerges from his desert hideout to rally the troops. stay with us. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪
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it is now just a little more than 24 hours until the president and his challenger suit up and square off in the first of three presidential debates. the president has actually just taken a brief respite from his debate cram session paying a visit to the hoover dam, and, yes, indeed, the government did build that. one of those with a ringside seat for the debate is nbc's kristin welker who is live from las vegas, not far from where
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the president is preparing. kristin, we just learned the president visited the hoover dam. was this just a sightseeing tour, a bit of a break? what was the purpose? >> reporter: i think it was a bit of a sightseeing tour but it also gives him a chance to get out and shake some hands. this is a key swing state, but we're told that president obama said to one of his advisers he didn't realize the hoover dam was so close. it was just about 15 miles away from where he was staying, so they took off. they went to this sort of impromptu visit to the hoover dam. you might remember, martin, that president obama has woven the hoover dam into some of his speeches in the past several weeks and months to sort of talk about american exceptionalism. he said he had never seen it and he wanted to take this chance to do it. yesterday he actually made a stop, took a break from debate prep to take a stop at one of his campaign headquarters here. again gave him the chance to take a break and shake a few hands and talk to folks in this key swing state. >> kristin, we've learned that
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the president will get the first question tomorrow night, but do you have any other details about how the debate has been structured, how things are going to proceed? >>. >> reporter: we do have a few more details, martin. we know there are going to be six 15-minute segments. the segments will include three on the economy, one on health care, one on governing, one on the role of government, and here is how it's going to work. moderator jim lehrer will start each segment off by asking a question. he will give each candidate two minutes to answer the question, and then they'll use the remainder of the time to have a discussion about the topic at hand. so that's how it's going to work. of course, both of these candidates putting the final touches on their debate preparations. they're being incredibly tight-lipped, which, of course, is frustrating to those of us in the media about how exactly these debate preparations are going but both ann romney and first lady michelle obama will be there tomorrow night in denver. one more interesting note, martin, it is the first couple's
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20th anniversary tomorrow night. they will be together, they will be together in denver, and they will have a proper celebration this weekend. >> wow. celebrating and working at the same time. nbc's kristin welker. thanks so much. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing,
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he was 0 for 2 last time around after contributing to the campaigns of rudy joule annie and then john mccain. republicans have received three times as much as democrats. according to business insiders walter hickey, 11 nfl team owners currently line up behind mitt romney. none more so than new york jets long suffering owner woody johnson, also a campaign finance co-chair. perhaps remarkably, for a man whose team took a fearsome beating at the weekend without scoring a single point in response, mr. johnson reveals his priority is not his team, but team romney. >> well, i think you always have to put country first, so i think it's very, very important that this election come off with mitt romney and ryan as president and vice president. >> now, this may come as cold
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comfort for those jets fans who spend their hard-earned money watching a team that can't score led by an owner who cares more about mitt romney than quarterback mark sanchez. but actually that's not surprising at all because what woody johnson apparently cares about most is not his franchise, but his taxes. and he knows that if romney wins, he stands to receive a windfall of money when his taxes are slashed by 20%. and that's why this fall he's not betting on coach rex ryan. his money is on paul ryan. but there's a final reason for why woody johnson doesn't need to worry about his flailing franchise. it's called redistribution, the very mechanism described as socialism by the nfl commissioner that allows his franchise to keep financially thriving even if the team doesn't win another game. that's why woody johnson can gamble on mitt romney, because johnson wins even
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